Bloomberg News

U.S. Gasoline Use Falls 4.5% From Year Earlier, MasterCard Says

November 25, 2011

Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. gasoline demand fell below year-earlier levels for the 12th consecutive time last week, down 4.5 percent from 2010, according to MasterCard Inc.

Drivers used 8.71 million barrels a day of gasoline in the week ended Nov. 18, dropping from 9.12 million the prior year and down from 8.8 million a week earlier, according to MasterCard Inc.’s SpendingPulse report. The percentage drop from 2010 levels is the biggest since Aug. 12.

Averaged over four weeks, fuel demand fell 3.8 percent from a year earlier, the 35th consecutive decline in that measure.

Gasoline use in 2011 through Nov. 11 is down 1.4 percent from a year earlier, according to the second-biggest payments network company.

The average pump price fell 3 cents to $3.40 a gallon. Prices were 18 percent higher than a year earlier.

Gasoline demand peaked this year at 9.56 million barrels a day in the week ended July 1 as motorists filled their tanks before the July 4 holiday weekend. The lowest level of consumption came in the week ended Feb. 11 when consumers bought 8.47 million barrels a day.

The report from Purchase, New York-based MasterCard is assembled by MasterCard Advisors, the company’s consulting arm. The information is based on credit-card swipes and cash and check payments at about 140,000 U.S. gasoline stations.

Visa Inc. is the biggest payments network company by transactions processed.

--Editors: Charlotte Porter, Bill Banker

To contact the reporter on this story: Barbara J Powell in Dallas at bpowell4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net


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